Inside the Homes of Georgia O’Keeffe and New York City Socialites

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The sitting room of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Village home. Photo: Balthazar Korab/Courtesy of The Library of Congress

Interior designer and blogger P. Gaye Tapp recollects the lives and impeccably decorated homes of 16 iconic women in her upcoming book, How They Decorated: Inspiration From Great Women of the Twentieth Century, out April 11 from Rizzoli. She assembles stylish women who designed their homes in four categories she calls Legacy Style, In the Grand Manner, Fashionably Chic, and Unconventional Eye. Photos and illustrations show earthy pieces Georgia O’Keeffe brought to her adobe house, the floors covered in animal skins and rugs, or socialite Babe Paley’s New York City apartment.

All of the women are connected by their good taste and the fearless, personal touches they gave to their surroundings. The book includes curious details from their personal lives, like how Hélène Rochas earned Hubert de Givenchy’s praise, or how the writer Fleur Cowles once commissioned local nuns to embroider hundreds of yards of fabric for the rooms she was decorating. Click ahead for a glimpse into the world of interior design at the time.

How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century Hardcover by P. Gaye Tapp
$37, Amazon

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Photo: Jeremiah Goodman

Elsa Schiaparelli

Illustration of the Schiaparelli Library.

Photo: William Steele

Babe Paley

Babe Paley’s Fifth Avenue living room.

Photo: Jimmie Henslee

Babe Paley

Illustration of Babe Paley’s New York City Apartment.

Photo: Balthazar Korab/Courtesy of The Library of Congress/Credit Line: Balthazar Korab Photography Ltd. License Contacts: Christian Korab 612.729.2907 CMKorab@MyInfMail.com 4104 42nd Av

Georgia O’Keeffe

The sitting room of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Village home.

Photo: Balthazar Korab/Courtesy of The Library of Congress/© Balthazar Korab Ltd. (credit line)

Georgia O’Keeffe

A room in her Abiquiu Village home.

Photo: Myron Wood © Pikes Peak Library District

Georgia O’Keeffe

A pair of exterior black doors at Georgia O’Keeffe’s ranch in Abiquiu.

Photo: Myron Wood © Pikes Peak Library District

Georgia O’Keeffe

Between the main entrance and the patio at Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Village home.

Photo: Myron Wood © Pikes Peak Library District

Georgia O’Keeffe

In the sitting room of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Village home.

Photo: Balthazar Korab/Courtesy of The Library of Congress/© Balthazar Korab Ltd. (credit line)

Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe’s bedroom.

Photo: © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s

Evangeline Bruce

Her Albany library, designed by Diana Phipps.

Inside the Homes of Georgia O’Keeffe and New York Socialites